Wednesday, December 23, 2009

University of Cincinnati Developing Novel Ceramic Nano-Film Coatings for Integrated Optical Sensors for Rapid Detection of Coal Derived Synthesis Gas for DOE Fossil Energy Program


University of Cincinnati Professor Junhang Dong is leading a $326,958 research project for DOE's Fossil Energy Program to develop new types of high temperature (>500oC) fiber optic chemical sensors (FOCS) for monitoring of coal-derived gases by physically and functionally integrating advanced nano ceramic materials with fiber optic devices.

The primary technical objective is to investigate and demonstrate two new types of nanocrystalline doped-ceramic coated FOCS that will possess desired stability, sensitivity and selectivity for in-situ, rapid gas detection in coal-derived syngas streams. The first type is a LPFG-coupled self- compensating interferometer sensor and the second type is an evanescent tunneling sensor. For both types of sensors, high selectivity will be targeted through the application of nanocrystalline thin film coatings of doped-ceramics that only interact with specific gas molecules and inert to others.

This project will specifically focus on sensors for Hydrogen (H2) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detection at high temperatures (>500oC) and elevated pressures up to 250 psi. 

Through a coordinated interdisciplinary research effort, the primary technical objective of this program is to investigate and demonstrate two new types of nanocrystalline doped-ceramic coated FOCS that will possess desired stability, sensitivity and selectivity for in-situ, rapid gas detection in coal-derived syngas streams.

The first type is a Long Period Fiber Grating (LPFG)-coupled self-compensating interferometer sensor and the second type is an evanescent tunneling sensor. For both types of sensors, high selectivity will be achieved by applying nanocrystalline thin film coatings of doped-ceramics that only interact with specific gas molecules. This project will specifically focus on sensors for H2 and H2S detection at >500C and pressures up to 250 psi. The three-year project involves interdependent research efforts in the areas of material, chemical, and electrical/optical engineering.

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